In Your Pocketberlin.inyourpocket.com April - May 2015
After a mild winter, it’s time for Berliners and their visitors to head outdoors again. The city’s bars will regret the drop in income, but the cheap beers and booze sold at the ubiquitous Späti late-night shops and the lush park lawns beckon once again. If you’re in town during the ﬁrst warm weekend of the year, we recommend you visit Tempelhofer Freiheit park, and watch the scene of thousands of Berliners crammed on the Grill-areas, enjoying the ﬁrst barbecue of the season.For those who like their outdoors to be calm, manicured and ﬁtted out with holes for aiming little white balls at, check out our new golf feature (p. 9) and discover where you can play in and around Berlin. Some people who will shun the sunlight this season are the visitors of the international Gamesweek event, who’ll spend their time trying out and discussing digital games; see p. 19 for details.Whatever you do this spring, do write in to tell us about your experiences, tips and complaints, at email@example.com.Enjoy Berlin.
Berlin’s impressive Reichstag build-ing is one of the most well-known parliament buildings in the world. It was burnt down, conquered by the Soviets, fenced in by the Wall and wrapped in pink canvas before it returned to its original purpose, now with a new dome that’s free to visit.
Discounts are a welcome relief, so if you are planning to travel around town a lot and see more than one museum, get a reduced rate card. Note that students and youths may get better reductions at museums using their student ID cards.
is a combined transport and reduction card (museums, bike tours/rental, boat tours, etc) valid for zone AB or zone ABC (which includes Potsdam and Schönefeld airport). Cards are valid for 48 hours (AB €18,50, ABC €20,50), 72 hours (€25,50/27,50) or 5 days (€32,50/37,50). There’s also a 72-hour variety (€38,50/40,50) that includes free admission to the ﬁve Museumsinsel museums. Cards are sold online and from BVG ticket machines, tourist oﬃ ces, S-Bahn oﬃ ces, hotels and kiosks. The similar
(www.citytourcard.com) is a little cheaper, with restaurant, bar and club discounts geared towards younger travellers: 48 hours (AB €16,90, ABC €18,90), 72 hours (€23,90/25,90) or 5 days (€30,90/35,90).
MUSEUM PASS BERLIN
50 museums, including the permanent collections of the
(state museums), can be visited with the Berlin Museum Pass (€24/12, valid three days). It’s for sale at the museums, tourism oﬃ ces and online.
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Although Berlin is lodged
in the middle of the great empty vastness of northeast Germany, it’s very well connected to the rest of civilisation by bus, train, Autobahn and air. Once in Berlin, you’ll wish that your home town had such good public transport.
Berlin’s integrated network of
, underground trains),
(trams) run by BVG and
and regional commuter trains run by DB) usually works like a dream. Just remember the number or colour and end station of the line you want to use, and you’ll be navigating the labyrinth-like stations like a local.Most S/U-Bahn trains, buses and trams run every 5-15 minutes during the day. M buses and trams run every half hour at night; U-Bahn trains run every 15 minutes on weekend nights, with N buses following their routes every half hour (starting from Hackescher Markt) on weekday nights.
can be used on all BVG, S-Bahn and local RE train services. Vending machines have instructions in English and accept coins, often bank notes and cards too. Berlin’s AB travel zone contains nearly everything; you’ll only need an ABC-ticket for Potsdam and Schoenefeld airport.With an
ticket (AB-zone €2,70, ABC €3,30) you can travel one-way for up to two hours with unlimited transfers; it’s cheaper to buy four tickets at once (
, €9). Buy a €1,60
(short distance) ticket if you want to travel up to three S/U-Bahn stops, or up to six stops by bus or tram. If you anticipate a lot of travelling, get the
(day ticket, valid until 03:00 the next morning; €6,90) or the
(€29,50). Groups of up to ﬁve people are best oﬀ with a
(group day ticket, €16,90). The multi-day
(€18,50-38,50) is valid for transport and some attractions.Before boarding the S- or U-Bahn, always
by punching it in the yellow or red machines near the end of the platforms. On buses and trams, the machines are on board. Public transport uses the honour system, and there are regular checks by uniformed and plainclothes
. If you are caught without a valid ticket you’ll be ﬁned €40 on the spot.
run the U-Bahn, buses and trams. Their handy trip planner can be found at www.fahrinfo-berlin.de.
tel. +49 30 194 49, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bvg.de.
Berlin’s friendly and ubiquitous beige Mercedes taxis can be called or hailed on the street. They can also be found queing at S/U-Bahn stations and near nightlife hotspots. Not all taxis accept credit cards, ask when you book. Prices are the same day and night; ﬂagfall plus the ﬁrst kilometre is €3,40; then up to 7km it’s €1,79/km, thereafter €1,28/km. Waiting costs €25/hr. For short hops hail a taxi already driving in the direction you need to go and immediately ask for the
tarriﬀ; €4 for 2km. By the way,
tel. +49 30 21 02 02, www.cityfunk.de.
FUNK TAXI BERLIN
tel. +49 30 26 10 26, www.taxifunkberlin.de.
tel. +49 30 44 33 22, www.taxi443322.de.
WBT FUNK TAXI BERLIN
tel. +49 30 26 10 26, www.funk-taxi-berlin.de.
tel. +49 30 21 01 01, www.wuerfelfunk.de.
As long as it’s dry, getting around Berlin is really best done by bicycle. It’s a ﬂat city, there are plenty of cycle paths and wide bus lanes for you to use and you see so much more from the saddle than from the U-Bahn train window. Note that cycling on the pavement is illegal and may get you ﬁned, even though everyone does it. Cycling across town may take a while, though for €1,60 you can take your bike on an S/U-Bahn train too. There are dozens of
places, most charging €10-12 per day. The urban bike trip planner www.bbbike.de can suggest low-traﬃ c and cobblestone-free routes across Berlin.
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